1969. La Habana, Cuba
(The spiritual universe of humanity is the theme present in all Carlos Estévez’s works. Within this universe, he sees human existence as part of the cosmic and infinite realm of mysteries. His meticulous and complex works pose endless questions that prompt a multitude of answers and interpretations. The intellectual and physical features of man are endowed with a symbolic content based on his own psychological and philosophical concepts and visions for the future. He creates unique ways to understand humanity – its scientific laws, religion, anatomy, language, astrology, machinery – through intricate drawings, paintings, objects and installations. Estévez uses a Renaissance artist’s preoccupation with structure to understand the scheme of things. His elaborate notebooks are reminiscent of medieval workbooks and Renaissance investigation into the nature of things. Each work is as encyclopedic as his sources, derived from a range of scholarly references in discourse with the history of art, metaphysics, hermetic literature, the ancients, architecture and astronomy. The human figure becomes the metaphor for subjects that range from insects to machinery to city plans. It is the soul of man’s existence that confounds the senses in works that are as imaginary as they are insightful.
A recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, Cintas Foundation fellowship in Visual Arts, and the Grand Prize in the First Salon of Contemporary Cuban Art in Havana, Carlos Estévez was born and raised in Cuba and moved to Miami in 2004, where he lives and works. He graduated from the University of Arts (ISA) in Havana in 1992. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami; Center of Contemporary Art, New Orleans; and Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona. Estévez has participated in group exhibitions presented at the 6th and 7th Havana Biennials; the 1st Biennial of Martinique; Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe; and several others. He has been an Artist-in-residence in Academia de San Carlos, UNAM, Mexico; Gasworks Studios, London, England; The UNESCO-ASCHBERG in The Nordic Artists’ Center in Dale, Norway; Art-OMI Foundation, New York; The Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Montclair University, New Jersey; Siena Art Institute, Italy; and McColl Center in Charlotte, NC, among other places. His work is included in numerous prestigious collections as those of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; The Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; The Bronx Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Perez Art Museum Miami; Denver Art Museum, Colorado, Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona; Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut; Drammens Museum for Kunst of Kulturhistorie, Drammens, Norway; Arizona State University Art Museum; Fort Lauderdale Art Museum; The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU, Miami; BNY Mellon Art Collection, New York; and The Lowe Art Museum, Miami.